First Day of Winter Includes Idaho Avalanche Warnings


This weekend's precipitation, which has dumped plenty of rain in the Treasure Valley and much-welcomed snow at area ski resorts, has also triggered avalanche warnings.

The Payette National Forest Avalanche Center in McCall has issued a warning, effective until Monday morning, for the West-Central Idaho mountain near McCall and Cascade, including the Deadwood Summit Area. A separate avalanche warning has been posted by the Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center for the Soldier, Smoky, Boulder and Sawtooth ranges, including the mountains near Fairfield, Galena Summit, Ketchum, Smiley Creek and Stanley. That warning is also effective until Monday morning.

Meanwhile, just in time for the official start of winter Dec. 21, a winter storm warning is in effect until Monday for the mountain near Stanley, where snowfall of over a foot is expected above 7,500 feet.

The area, known to motorists as Avalanche Alley, between Grandjean Road and Banner Creek Summit was closed by the Idaho Transportation Department late Saturday.

ITD estimates that nearly 45 to 50 slides happen along Avalanche Alley each winter.